Research Projects

  • Bacterial Genomic Diversity

    Exploration of the genetic basis for real-world variability in the behavior of human pathogens during infections of individual humans and whole populations
  • Bacterial Phenotypic Diversity

    Identification of the Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei genes responsible for several intrinsic antibiotic resistance, virulence and stress tolerance traits
  • Quorum Sensing in Burkholderia mallei: An Antivirulence Therapeutic Target

    Development of a quorum sensing reporter system for use in a high-throughput screen for inhibitors
  • Analysis of Type VI Secretion in Burkholderia pseudomallei

    Characterization of several aspects of the Type VI Secretion Systems of B. pseudomallei, including involvement in virulence and host interactions, identification of regulatory pathways, and identification of novel T6S substrates
  • Host-Pathogen Interaction in Plague

    Examination of the transition between induction of innate immunity with TLR agonists and specific immunity directed against pneumonic plague, determination of the role of regulatory genes and surface/extracellular proteins in Y. pestis infection, and identification of natural mutations (pseudogenes) that are essential for Y. pestis pathogenesis
  • Host and Pathogen-associated Mechanisms of Yersinia Survival in Lymph Nodes

    Identification of Yersinia surface and secreted proteins, which are likely to be critical for early infection and are also candidates for subunit vaccines or diagnostic markers, using proteomics, bioinformatics and expression array studies
  • Innate Immune Detection of Bacterial Nucleic Acids and Nucleotides

    Determination of intracellular signaling pathways that are activated by key invasive gram negative bacteria, characterization of the role of the candidate sensors in activation of IFNs by DNA and cyclic dinucleotides, and establishment of the importance of these sensors and signaling pathways in the host-protective response to bacterial infection
  • Transcriptional Control in Macrophage Response to Pathogens

    Analysis of the transcriptomes of macrophages infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei and determination of the transcription factors and signaling molecules that are activated in response to infection
  • Diversity of Host-pathogen Interactions

    Identification of aspects of bacterial infection in humans that exhibit heritable variation, determination of the genetic changes that are responsible, and assessment of the relevance of this variation on the fitness of whole organisms
  • Human Innate Immune Variation

    Study of how genetic factors modify human host susceptibility to infection from potential bioweapons agents such as Yersinia pestis
  • Antibiotic Drug Discovery

    Identification of new compounds of utility in treating or preventing disease caused by Gram-negative bacteria through the development of high throughput screens, chemical synthesis, measurements of the biological effect of compounds, and the study of compound efficacy in small animal models of disease